The 2 Foods You Should Keep Your Kitchen Torch Far Away From

Open-flame cooking gives a visibly appealing char and irresistible smokiness to food that the oven can't quite achieve — thanks to the handy dandy kitchen blowtorch, you basically have a handheld appliance.

While a torch isn't an everyday kitchen tool, when you need it, you need it. It would be pretty hard to get a nice caramelized crust on a crème brûlée by using a handheld lighter, and the broiler doesn't fully get the job done. However, beyond the occasional crème brûlée, baked Alaska, or torching of marshmallows for s'mores ice cream cake, the kitchen torch is finding more uses for itself. According to Salty Lemon Sister, other ways to use the blowtorch include roasting peppers, toasting breadcrumbs, browning meringue, and caramelizing bananas. 

However, two other common practices have taken the world by storm that, unfortunately, may not be the best idea. If you've started to use your kitchen torch for melting cheese or searing meat, it might be time to pump the brakes (via The Takeout).

Using a kitchen torch on meat or cheese leaves a burnt flavor

While watching meat brown or cheese melt before your own eyes is oh-so-satisfying thanks to the quick fix of the blowtorch, the process has its implications.

Searing meat with a blowtorch often scorches it, leaving an unpleasant burnt taste, also known as "torch taste," per Science of Cooking.  This result becomes highly prevalent when torching fatty cuts of meat because of the "incomplete combustion" of gas that leaves your food with that unappetizing fuel-infused flavor. The Takeout also states that the torch's flame is so concentrated that it's nearly impossible not to burn at least a portion of what you're heating.

Melting cheese is also highly tempting if you prefer that perfect crisp layer on top of your favorite lasagna or macaroni and cheese dish. And going about it by torching might not yield the results you want, especially if you bring the flame extremely close to the cheese. 

Instead of making the tops bubbly and golden, it will bring out a singed flavor that doesn't necessarily complement the rest of the ingredients, per The Takeout. This will also probably happen if you top your cheesy broccoli or yellow squash casserole with breadcrumbs, as the smell and taste of burnt toast will overpower your dish.